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Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League - A Live-Service Game with Potential or a Rocky Road Ahead?

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, the latest offering from Rocksteady Studios in the DC Arkhamverse, has sparked a burning question in the gamin...

S. Dent

Feb 09, 2024

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League - A Live-Service Game with Potential or a Rocky Road Ahead?

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, the latest offering from Rocksteady Studios in the DC Arkhamverse, has sparked a burning question in the gaming community: Can it be salvaged as a live-service game? As I delved into the world of antiheroes and co-op multiplayer shooting, it became clear that the game's fate hangs in the balance. Many live-service titles have struggled after a rough start, with infamous failures like Anthem and Marvel's Avengers haunting the genre. However, some games have managed to turn the tide and rise from the ashes, like No Man's Sky and Final Fantasy XIV. So, is there hope for Suicide Squad?

Let's address the elephant in the room – Suicide Squad has some serious issues. The user experience, mission design, and content variety leave much to be desired. These three elements are crucial in live-service games, where engaging and seamless experiences are paramount. Despite its flaws, there are glimpses of brilliance when playing as Deadshot, soaring through the skies and tactically decimating enemies. The gameplay loop is enthralling, reminiscent of titles like The Division or Remnant II. Unfortunately, Suicide Squad sabotages its own entertainment value.

The UI is a visual mess, making it challenging to navigate and disrupting the flow of the game with incessant post-mission menus. A significant revamp of the UI and UX is necessary for the game's success, without compromising the promised seasonal content and narrative. Speaking of which, the game's ending reveals a coalition of 13 Brainiacs behind the multiversal attacks, setting the stage for two-to-three years of post-launch content dedicated to bringing them down. A roadmap has been laid out, featuring four upcoming seasons, each introducing new characters, boss fights, environments, weapons, gear, and more. Suicide Squad's roadmap shows more promise than Marvel's Avengers did at release, offering players a year of fresh content.

Once you reach the endgame, you'll discover a plethora of progression systems to support the adventure. From increasing your Finite Crisis level to grinding for Infamy Gear and delving into a vast talent tree shared between characters, there's plenty to sink your teeth into. The downside? The lack of diverse Incursions and compelling objectives leaves you feeling like you're stuck in a repetitive loop. However, there's hope that Rocksteady will address this issue, as they have already promised a new mission type called Strongholds for the game's first post-launch season.

If Rocksteady can diversify the content and address the game's user experience problems, Suicide Squad has the potential to shed its anchors and soar. Players will finally be able to appreciate its frenetic combat and exhilarating traversal, potentially propelling it to live-service success. However, the responsibility for this doesn't solely rest on the players' shoulders.

Rocksteady and WB Games must demonstrate the determination and commitment required to turn things around. Games like Anthem and Marvel's Avengers had solid foundations, but their publishers lacked the resolve to invest in the necessary fixes. In Suicide Squad's case, the endgame screen teases four seasons of content, but a disclaimer on the website reminds players that online services can be modified or discontinued. Moreover, the game's PC player count hasn't been impressive, peaking at a mere 13,459 concurrent players on Steam. In comparison, other recent multiplayer hits like Palworld, Enshrouded, and Granblue Fantasy: Relink have achieved far greater success. Even single-player games like Persona 3 Reload and Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth outperform Suicide Squad. These statistics raise concerns about the game's future, although neither WB Games nor Rocksteady have commented on its commercial performance since launch. We'll have a clearer picture when Circana's February video game market results are released, with the planned March release date for Season 1 looming.

The destiny of Suicide Squad lies in the hands of Rocksteady and WB Games. They have laid the groundwork with a solid narrative, progression systems, and core gameplay. The question is whether they are willing to invest heavily in fixing the game's major issues and creating captivating new content. Only time will tell if Suicide Squad can overcome the challenge of defeating all 13 Brainiacs or if its story will remain unfinished, much like Marvel's Avengers.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is available now for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X.

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